Being Their Hands and Feet

I have posted lately asking for monetary support to assist Kevin and Rachel in keeping afloat financially, and so many people have generously reached out and selflessly given to the Bridging the Gap campaign.  Today, however, I ask for your prayers.

As you know Kevin’s doctor at UCLA changed his existing medication (BRAF inhibitor) and added another one (MEK inhibitor).  Unfortunately it took much longer than originally anticipated for the new BRAF inhibitor drug to be shipped and so Kevin continued on his old one (Vemurafenib) along with the new MEK inhibitor.  The new BRAF inhibitor finally arrived and Kevin switched.

Since then his progress hasn’t been particularly promising.  In some ways he seems to be slowly improving and in others appears to be getting worse.  There are some other treatment options that might be available to Kevin that Rachel is researching, however to try those, he needs to be healthier, which they are hopeful this new drug combo would accomplish.  At the moment his quality of life is diminished but, as usual, he keeps plugging along, working as much as he can and barreling through.  Told you. He’s a BEAST.

All that to say, please pray friends.  Ask for healing, ask for his body to respond to these drugs quickly, ask for him to feel well enough to enjoy time with his family, ask for peace and hope for the Hill Family.

In addition, many people have asked how they can help outside of providing financial support to the Hills. Here are a few ways that would really benefit them:

  1. Spread the word.  Repost this blog to your FaceBook page, Twitter feed, etc. Copy the link into an email and send it to your non-social media friends.  The more folks praying and supporting this family the better.  And, feel free to forward along the information about the different fundraising events that we have going on as well. (Tomorrow is the last day for the WebOS Auction!)
  2. Be Their Hands and Feet.  Rachel continues to struggle to keep up with the trials of daily domestic life in the midst of her own ADD (read this post if you want a refresher), two small children, and her husband’s battle with cancer.  If you have an hour or three to spare, why not spend it at Rachel’s house?  Play with her kids, fold her laundry while her kids nap so she can run errands, bring them dinner and eat it with them – then help put the kids to bed for the night, or share a cup of coffee with Rachel after her kids are down for a nap.  If you’ve got a few skills, they could use the occasionally handy-man, lawn service professional, house-keeper, or baby-sitter too.  I will post a calendar soon where you can sign up for a shift.  Make it a weekly or monthly commitment. Or, if you can only do once in a while, sign up for a day you can do it and when you have free time again in a few weeks or months sign up for another.
  3. Pray. As always your prayers and petitions are the greatest need this family has.  Ask your kids youth group to pray, ask your church to pray. Organize a prayer vigil and invite your small group and neighbors.  If you aren’t the praying type, thoughts and notes of love and encouragement would be wonderful.  You can mail them a note at 746 Pearce Street, Atlanta, GA 30310, or you can post something to the Hill Family Fighters FaceBook Page.

Thank you, all, so very much for your prayers and support. They make a HUGE difference.

Let’s pray.

Bridging the Gap: The Auction

Sarah here.  First I want to sincerly thank all the generous folks who have participated in helping raise financial support for the Hill Family during our “Bridging the Gap” campaign.  As always I am floored by number of people from many parts of the world who choose to give to my sister and brother.  Your giving is such a blessing and an act of loving kindess. 

I also wanted to make everyone aware of the upcoming “Bridging the Gap” Auction that our brother, Josh Marinacci is holding beginning tomorrow, September 15, 2013.  Josh is auctioning off his entire collection of webOS devices and swag to help them cover the bills and fight the cancer.  Of course it would fantastic if you choose to participate, but also we would deeply appreciate you spreading the word by reposting to your FaceBook feed or tweeting about it. 


If webOS gear isn’t your thing, take heart! There will be additional fundraising opportunites such as a benefit concert on October 25th at Community Grounds in South Atlanta featuring the band Rye.  More details to come.

Again, thank you so so much for all your prayers and support.  You help keep Kevin and Rachel HOPEful.

– Sarah Thomas

West Coast Update

Hi folks,
As you may know we recently flew to Southern California to meet with my “UCLA Doc” about a clinical trial.  Searching for clinical trials is something we (by we I mean Rachel) does routinely in the Melanoma world.  Because metastatic melanoma is so difficult to treat there is no real “standard of care” for it.  Or at least, the standard of care isn’t very promising.  Rachel found a clinical trial that looked very promising at UCLA and emailed my doctor about it.  At first it looked promising, but almost as soon as we booked our flights the doctor emailed back with the crushing news that I actually did NOT qualify for the trial.  But Rachel and I felt a strong sense that we needed to go ahead with our trip, as planned, and meet with him anyway.  Boy are we glad we did!  At this visit the doctor changed my existing medication (BRAF inhibitor) and added another one (MEK inhibitor).  You may recall these sound familiar to you.  We had tried this before, but at that time, there was a communication / logistical problem getting me started at UCLA and then transferring to Vanderbilt.  Now, however, the two drugs are FDA approved and no longer require bi-weekly follow-ups at UCLA!  Even though I have VERY close family and friends in So. Cal, and an amazing network of supporters, that many cross-country trips would not be sustainable.  Though the data suggests that the combination of drugs is BOTH more effective and less toxic than taking either drug alone, taking the two drugs together is not yet FDA approved.  But because my UCLA Doc is so cutting-edge he’s already prescribed this combination for several patients.  Let’s just say he “works a little magic” with the insurance companies to get them to cover both drugs simultaneously.  So he offered to do this for me as well.   While this is great news, the data also shows that even though this combination is very effective, the cancer will develop a resistance to it in about 6 months and it will no longer be effective.  So “on paper” we have “bought some time” as it were.  But with God I have as much time as He grants me.  As we try to remind ourselves “Praise God for another day”.